Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2007 Source: My Own Bookshelf
My favorite part in this book was towards the beginning, when Junior explains why he likes to draw. He says it's because that no matter what language you speak, you can understand a drawing. With writing, that doesn't work. That's when I knew that I liked Junior. I really admired him for taking a huge chance and leaving the reservation. What guts! I loved watching him grow throughout the story and am completely hoping for a sequel.
This book wasn't afraid to discuss racism and the hardships of living on a reservation. Most people don't want to talk about racism at all - we pretend it doesn't exist anymore, but it does. It's just different than it used to be. I really appreciated the fact that the book explained why everyone stayed on the reservation, too. It made me think about my life and why I live in the place that I do.
It also made me appreciate my life. I'm very lucky to have only been to two funerals in my life. Junior had been to a ton, and I'm older than he was in this book. So much tragedy happened to him during this story. I can't even imagine. It was one thing after another. I'm glad Sherman Alexie shared this book with us. I hope for another YA book from him.